Enter Nik's Mind: Rules of Engagement [COLUMN]

Mom always told us as children that there is never a true winner in an argument. Mama’s always right, right? Well sorta, kinda, mostly.

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OK, so arguments should never be fought to win unless, of course, you are arguing with your spouse. Spousal arguments are a completely different ballgame. You see, arguing with your spouse is a criterion for any good relationship. It’s a requirement, a must do! After all, arguments are historically good. They help improve communication skills. They stoke the winds of change, fuel the rise of civilization and have caused the marketplace of ideas to flourish for eons.

Winning an argument with your spouse may not happen often but when it does —WOW, it can be magical. So why not go ahead and argue to win! Perhaps you’re unsure how exactly to win an argument with your spouse? No worries, that’s what you have your good friend Nik for!

First, I would never recommend winning a spousal argument using slimy practices. Howeverrrrr, I will share with you a few simple techniques to end an argument with yourself achieving the proverbial win. For those of you that are faint of heart and aren’t willing to get kicked in the shins or have the remote control chucked at your head, I’d suggest not reading any further. But if you’re willing to go above and beyond for the win then carry on soldier and when the opportunity arises, use these few simple techniques.

The Timing Clause: You’re about to start a loud version of the blame game over who REALLY left your car lights on therefore depleting the battery, causing you to be late for an important meeting. Just as the finger pointing gets started, the kids walk in. The discussion halts and is shelved until the kids are no longer in danger of witnessing a possible homicide. Be patient grasshopper! Let the argument rest until your spouse is exhausted and seconds away from blissful slumber or when he’s dousing a kitchen fire, or when he’s playing an online game, points away from becoming champion of the world, then WHAMOOO deploy the ‘Timing Clause.’ In your sweetest voice say, “Honey, are you sure you didn’t leave the lights on in the car?” Stand back a little or you may get whiplash from the speediness of his confession. Heck, he might admit to being the second shooter on the grassy knoll if it’ll get you to leave him alone. SCORE! WINNER!

The Short Cut: Use this to score your win before the argument truly gets started. For example, you turn the tap on, plug up the sink to begin washing the 80 dishes your spouse used to make a single hamburger. The kids are screaming upstairs and you rush off to investigate. You return, open the kitchen door and “SPLASH” suddenly you find yourself in Sea World. You scream and your spouse comes running in from the garage. Uh oh. You feel the tirade coming as the waves lap gently at your ankles. While he stands there off-guard taking in the scene, deploy “The Short Cut.” Turn on him like a Tasmanian she-devil and roar at the top of your lungs. ‘Well, help me — can’t you see I’ve flooded the kitchen, you idiot?’ He’ll never even know he lost that one. WINNER!

The Tilt-O-Whirl: You and the spouse visit an old friend in Denmark. She pulls out an ancient photo album with pictures taken during your semester abroad in junior college. The album consists mostly of pics of you in the buff. Hey, it’s Europe, everyone’s naked there! You’re dreading the return to the hotel room. UGH! You’re panicked, caught in a jam. Your opponent (your spouse) has you “up against the wall” and you feel the ice cold chill of failure and a possible month of begging for forgiveness breathing down your neck. E-GADS, what to do? Why deploy the Tilt-O-Whirl of course. When he asks if you wore ANY clothes during your time in Denmark, retaliate by asking him if he remembers the last time he bought you flowers. Knock him off balance and then continue to jack knife from argument to argument until he’s completely dizzy. Switch direction randomly and erratically like a school of fish being chased by a shark. He’ll never be able to land a verbal blow because by the time he thinks up a comeback you’ll be on a completely different topic. In the matter of seven or eight rapid fire changes he will have forgotten what you were arguing about in the first place. WINNER!

Static Shock: In the event your spouse, like mine, can block a shortcut like a brick wall and track topics like a heat seeking missile, deploy the fool proof “Static Shock” technique. This technique involves dressing like you’re in Denmark, (wink…wink) throwing your arms around him and kissing him until he’s putty in your hands! WINNER AGAIN!

There you have ‘em — a few sure fire rules of engagement. I must advise you faithful reader, to keep these valuable nuggets hush-hush, use them sparingly and when employing always use extreme caution because my couch is already full with the last person I gave this advice to. Happy arguing and …


Nik Davies

Nik Davies

Nik Davies spends most of her available time making up stories and writing them down. She also hates Cheetos and dogs named Diablo. She’s the author of the hit YA Fantasy thriller “Fif15teen” and lives alone in Pittsfield unless you count her husband, children, and the ghosts of Fred and Bob their dearly departed tree frogs. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.